Announcing: Answers To Top 10 Questions About The Brain

Mr Michael Bibby s4032484 at student.uq.edu.au
Wed Jul 9 23:35:16 EST 2003


this is a forwarded post from another forum, it redress the question that was
posed to me "are you saying that empirical facts are arbitrary
constructions"...., 



"theoretical models are built up according to an a-priori design upon the basis
of the theoretical assumptions which they are predicated upon, i.e, specific
'facts' are gathered (or 'constructed'- a fact is only a fact in a given
theoretical framework: all observations are heavily theory laden) and
generalized models are constructed (no one agrees just how this process of
theory formulation occurs but many agree that it involves 'reflection' and
'abstraction' of observational data); from this generalized model, testable
hypothesis are deduced, predictions about what is likely to be observed under
certain conditions that are defined a-priori. Subsequently an observation is
made (i say 'made' bceause observation is an active process and not a passive
one) and the null hypothesis is interpreted by logico-mathematical treatment of
the observable data. if the hypothesis is supported it is provisionally and
tentatively accepted. This is not a random process but it is some what arbitrary
"physical concepts are the free creation of the human mind" as Einstein put it,
in other words, i can replace 'gravity' in the inverse square law of gravity
with 'instinct' and it would function just the same, the only difference is that
the latter formulation produces a very different effect in terms of how we think
about a falling apple. in this sense, physical concepts are like metaphysical
principles 'the free creation of the human mind', they are not merely arbitrary
human-specific constructs, but they are a matter of convention as all physical
theories exist in a historical context; they are not a-historical. "

mickeyd



More information about the Neur-sci mailing list